A full day without biking was nice, felt a lot better, even if my feet still hurt, but I stocked up on support bandages and tape during the rest, so hopefully it’ll be ok.
We got up around 07.00am, ate and got ready to leave, snapped a picture of us with my grandmother before we left to.
Departure day from my Grandmother, emotions were visible on the poor old lady! <3
The road we planned was some smaller road, with a gravel stretch before getting back on the asphalt and head towards the small town of Fall, by the Randsfjord, the road we actually checked out when my uncle drove us back and forth between the city and my grandmother, so no surprises there!
The “locals” where hanging around the crossing where the first gravel stretch met the old main road, these young bulls/cow things were so curious and tough from a distance, but two steps closer and they got nervous, sheep are sheep, they ran like, well sheep, poop spreading behind them like no tomorrow!
We had a short stop in Fall, just to drink and use the toilets at the store and what not before we went on with the trip, the weather was pretty ok so far to, and the roads from here to Dokka was pretty flat and fairly nice looking, with the lake and the mountains in the distance.
Randsfjorden with the mountains in the distance, and some church we passed by on the way to Dokka.
Gravel road after the church, nice views and all, stopped to have some sweet rolls and a drink.
We got to Dokka around noon, so it was time for a lunch, stopped pretty much at the first and best place we found, called Pit-stop or something, for pizza and Burger I think, something like that at least.
We also checked the maps a little and had our destination planned, somewhere close to Gol.
From here on we would pass what my Grandmother warned us about before, the Tonsåshill, and boy was that a long one for us, but even so, it didn’t feel that bad, or maybe I just remember wrong!
We did get to see a monument on the way to, Flag Mountain and well, I could not find much info about it but: “Oldest Norwegian Mountain flag in Valdres, painted in 1897.”
The flag mountain, in all it’s glory (you really have to zoom to see it….
We went up, up, up, up the Tonsås Hill, and then it went down, down down towards Aurdal.
We had a longer stop in Aurdal, trying to figure out what to do, where to go, and if we needed to get food for the night here or later.
Our proud workhorses enjoying the evening sun in Aurdal, outside a food store.
What we figured out was that we would aim for Tisleidalen, and see how we felt there, that was about 20ish km away, but we were tired as it was, and it was uphill all the way there, and gravel, and getting late, and cold.
After shopping, eating, toilet and filling of bottles we headed out for the last leg, and got to camp a little later.
This night we had a few beers, I think it was two each, might have been one, and made food before sleeping in the +7° warm mountain air.
Unfortunately I don’t think there are any pictures after Aurdal this day, so this is it for now.
We started the morning fairly well rested after sleeping in a cabin, clothes were dry and the weather was looking promising, even with the clouds on display.
We mapped out a road to Likenäs and then up Sysselbäck to Medskogen and over to Norway, with the aim to get a decent camp spot for a shortish trip to my grandmother for a rest day.
Day 4. Going to Norway!
All right, lets get started, we got going around seven, early but we did all the packing last night so it was lock and load.
Started nice and slow on the small country roads out of Malung, some light rains on and off but nothing bad, one puncture for Hannu to fix.
The plan was to follow a road over a “hilly” area to Likenäs, we got told by a old gentleman on the way that we were in luck, there would be more asphalt than we feared, so we started the uphill and enjoyed the slow pace to start.
The road to LIkenäs gave some nice views, including the river/stream under this wooden bridge.
On the way down on the gravel part I lost two 1.5 water bottles that was under my net, didn’t notice it before we stopped for this picture, fun times.
The gravel road ended fairly quick and we got our first insane downhill of the trip, from the top here down to Likenäs was a unfortunately un-smooth asphalt road with some nice corners to ride down, like madmen, until the bikes started bouncing a wee bit to much..
The Iron cross resting close to the food store and some random older house in Likenäs.
After food we started biking up towards Sysselbäck, fairly nice roads and all, a little rain on the way, but nothing major.
Some nice and dramatic clouds biking from Likenäs to Sysselbäck and some strange Swedes on a raft with a tent, waving at us.
We actually made a quick stop in Sysselbäck, even if it was not a far ride, there was a chocolate maker there, with home made gelato to, so I mean, come on!
The place was called Naturpalinen and was worth a stop in it self!
Not going to write a whole lot for the rest of the road to the border, it was nice, we had a really big hill, we enjoyed that, just check out Hannu bellow…
Hannu with his “I just did a really big hill face” posing for a selfie, this was after Sysselbäck towards Medskogen.
We didnt have much problems getting to Medskogen, stopped for food again at the ICA there and rested before starting a rather nice downhill sections to the border
Getting close to the border, and the nice downhill towards it!
Border Selfie, kinda obvious I guess.
From the border we went on the roads towards Norway, getting more and more hills, I also developed some kind of pain in my achilles, both of them to be exact, not sure what happend but they felt sore and painfull.
First uphill after the border maybe? and google maps suggestion for a Norwegian bike road (sand to gravel to pavement again)
Chilling on the balcony at the cabin outside Flisa, by the river Glomma
Day 5, The day we go to my granny!
Day five got split up due to my achilles acting up, generaly tiredness and other random excuses.
We got up a little late again, I think we were packed and ready to leave about nine, managed to deliver the key and get the deposit back for the cabin, so thats a bonus I guess, it was raining in the morning, and the weather was slightly chilly.
Already in the morning we decided to bike to Hamar and take the train to Moelv, to skip a boring part and try to give my achilles some more rest.
Leaving from the camp and crossing the Glomma river, heading towards Hamar.
The road to Hamar was ok, nothing really exciting, but cant always be exciting can it?
There was a short stop for snacks and a leg rest in Löten, but that was it I think.
We navigated ourselves to XXL, a sports good store in Scandinavia, to get some warmer clothes for the mountains, I got some legwarmers and shoe covers, and a couple of energy gels just in case.
Afterwards we stopped by the Viking ship sports arena, where they had some of the olympic events during the Lillehammer games in 1994, a quick photo later we biked to the train station.
The Viking ship in all it’s glory or something and the Hamar trainstation.
Choo choo, we are on a train to Moelv, thanks NSB for doing what the w¤%& at SL cant do, accept bikes on the trains….
The train ride was like 17 minutes (35km of biking saved), and we got of really close to the bridge over Mjösa, so we got to bike the 1,5km of bridge over to the other side, and have a slightly boring road with lots of trafik in to Gjövik where the goal was to eat at Peppes Pizza, my favorit Norwegian pizza place, we also got to say hi to my mom’s cousin!
The Mjösa bridge from a far, picture taking from the docks where Skibladner goes from, and up close, with my backside for scale.
Peppes pizza, I always have the Heavy heaven, with garlic sauce on the side, Hannu had some green thing.
After food we started our last twenty something kilometers of biking to our rest day stop, my lovely grandmothers place. since we are now in a city the road to our stop is mostly suburbs, villas and industry so nothing realy to write home about, but we did stop by some rapids/waterfall by something I can only asume was a old powerplant at some point.
The waterfalls in Gjövik, and a special place in my childhood, my grandparents old home, were I spent countless summers when I was young, the new owners has done some interesting additions that I dont care about, but it’s still Bergholm and I remeber it like it used to be.
Bestemor! (Grandmom in Norwegian) this lovely woman took care of us for the day and the next, food and drink and laundry secured, and comfortable beds.
We spent the evening making food and catching up, told my granny about the trip so far, and the plans for the rest, made food (I got my favorit food, Norwegian meatballs) and everything that is needed with it.
Day 6 rest day sumary.
Well, not much to say about a rest day on a bike trip, we did not bike one centimeter this day, but we walked a little and my uncle came and picked us up so we could go to a bath and swim around, have a little sauna and generally just chill, also got some guiding on our route to the mountains, had some other family members come and visit and do laundry.
Things I didnt write about was the people we met at the bathing spot, several of them recommended we go to see the aftermath of a big forest fire a couple of years ago, so we decided on a detour to see that. before heading up towards Malung.
Morning started around seven, with some breakfast (apples I think it was) and packing of the camp, after checking the map one last time we headed north and up towards the forest fire site (we decided to head to Stabäck.
On the way we did stop shortly to fill some water bottles and check out the view of some old industry building on a island, turns out it was a oil refinery, and the Island was called “Oil Island”
The lake and the oil refinery, nice scenary and still prety good weather..
While Hannu took these pictures I stopped at a small family run Antiquity store, called Ängelsbergs brukshandel, to fill waterbottles, I also ended up buying a dala horse and a table cloth to bring to my grandmother!
The forest fire area, it’s hard to show how big the area was, but the link in the start of this post show’s the wikipedia article about it.
After a brief uphill to see the forest, we turned back and headed towards Fagersta.
We didnt get that far before we stopped for some more sightseeing, this time we found some old steel mill (I think)
The main building of the steel mill, Ängelbergs Bruk There where tons of frogs around there, probably from the small stream and high grass and all, and the must have picture of bikes leaning against one of the buildings!
Onwards again, towards Fagersta, Ludvika and our end destination for the day, Fänforsen.
The good weather we had was comming to an end it seems, we started on some fairly, I hate to say dull, but it was kind of dull roads up towards Ludvika, and to top it off we got some nasty rain showers, completly drenching us and even forcing us to have a stop in a bus shed.
Said bus stop where we stopped to get out of the rain, I had another Apple, also the clothes I had to try on the top of my tent under the bungeecord net got kinda wetter instead of dry 🙁
After a 20 minut wait the rain seemed to stop, so we started the journey again, only to get more rain after 10 minutes, this time we stopped by a school, put on something more suited for the rain, and went all the way to Ludvika for lunch (Pizza of course), thankfully the rain stopped again and we had decent weather for some time.
The bike road from Ludvika started with some amazing bike roads, there is aparently a paved road going (atleast it seemed so to us) around the lake, according to Wikipedia it’s some old railroad converted to bike path, but we also saw some people with the handcarts on rails in the area (atleast I think we saw them there, might have been that we saw them elsewhere, but I never took notes as we were on the bikes).
The bike road we followed was fairly smooth, and went through a nice forest area with plenty of lake views, thankfully the rain we saw seemed to be somewhere else than where we were going!
We followed this bike path for about 15km or so before we got on to the car road again, all the way up to Fänforsen, there was nothing really exciting to see or talk about on this road, but it went fairly smooth and without trouble so that was pretty nice.
Camp time, in Fänforsen!
The day might have started early but it got fairly “late” before we reached the stop we set out for during the day, I think it was around eight in the evening, thankfullt the Fänforsen resturant was still open so we could fill waterbottles, have a couple of beers and relax somwehere dry before setting up camp.
While setting up camp the weather took a turn for the worse and we got a thunderstorm, complete with rain and some nice wind, thankfully the spot we set up camp had some nice trees to set up our tarps, tents and hammock, there was also a scene in the park with a roof over, with some nice benches and a table so we could cook and eat with some shelter from the weather.
Worth mentioning that while cooking we got company from some motorcyclist going to Falun, so they joined us for an hour or so while they waited for the lightning to stop.
The campsite set up with tarps over the hammoch and our gear, you can see the stage in the back where we had our supper before the night.
And that it seems, was day two done, day three starts soon and as we get closer and closer to the border!
Day three, late start, some more rain and a day of shorter biking
We woke up a little later, or maybe slower, I think it was still around seven am, but packing camp felt slow, the tarp kept most of the rain of the gear and all, but the tent needed a whipe down, and I noticed that my brooks saddle cover was not 100% water proof so the sides of my flyer was now soft and soggy, the weather was thankfully looking better again so I left it in the sun to dry as much as possible before I started to pack, ended up putting a strap around it to keep it from bending, hoping like hell I would not end up with a sagging saddle for the trip, spoiler alert, it went fine!.
The view in the morning was pretty good and Hannu got some more good photos of the river.
The view on the other side of the camp in the morning of day 3, with the calm river turning in to rapids.
Around 0930 we were ready to leave and started biking towards Vansbro for lunch, didnt take to long before the weather goods decided to show us what they could do, but at this point there was nothing todo but keep biking, most of the clothes were still a little moist from yesterday anyway.
The rain hit hard, and with my soggy saddle we thought it better to stop in another bus shed, for awhile we tought about taking a “detour” to Dala-Järna, but we decided to just man up, put on rainjackets and go to Vansbro
We got to Vansbro around lunch and once again had pizza, the weather was nice again so we had a chance to atleast feel like we dried up a little, we also spent some of the time checking where to go, or more where to stop.
In the end we decided to take a small road towards Malung and stop at the camping spot there, there seemed to be a nice small town with some options to shop, I was considering a second pair of shoes, since my mesh summer shoes was in a constant state of wetness, or even some shoe covers, but more on that later.
The road out from Malung had some nice views, we didnt stop to check them out to much, but Hannu sent me two pictures.
One of many steel bridge in Dalarna county, this is on the way out of Vansbro and then there is the marshlands going over a hill towards Malung.
We got to Malung fairly early, went to get tent spots only to find out that two tent spots where more expensive than a cabbin so we rented one of those, to our suprise there was even a electric drying closet in the cabin so no more wet shoes, we also took the opportunity to do some laundry, have a shower and relax.
The cabin by the river, real beds, no rain or wet tents, generally just nice!
After Laundry and unpacking we walked in to town where Hannu and I ate at a thai resturant that was mediocre by big city standards, but still more expensive, before heading back to rest and sleep, Tomorrow would be the last day in Sweden!
Another summer and another bike trip, after 3 years in a fairly flat Finland the trip this year was Sweden and Norway.
The plan was to head west towards Västerås, go up through Dalarna (the “Valley county) and over the border close to Hamar, have a rest day at my grandmothers place before biking over the mountains and the Rallarvegen road to Flåm, before heading to Bergen via the Hardangerfjord road. In the days and weeks to come I’ll make posts about the trip, starting with the first day in this post
The day started around 08.00 with breakfast of oatmeal porridge I think, before we went outside with the whole family for a picture and departure around 0900.
Weather during departure was awesome, we had 20 something in the morning and it went on to be close to 35 in the evening, fairly uneventfull journey from home to our first big stop in Enköping and same before Västerås.
Long stretches of country roads in fairly good condition, a nice place to eat a apple!
A small kiosk on the way to Enköping, opened by some people who got tired of working with IT in Stockholm
The roads to and over Ekolsund was random, first awesome road shoulders, then some crushed rocks where what someone said was where the old railway went.
Meeting up with mom and dad and the new RV they bought, for some food in Västerås.
After Västerås came another fairly uneventfull part of Sweden, fields and some forests on the way north towards Fagersta and our camp site just north of Ramnäs in a place called Utomhusbad Brattheden.
We found a nice public bath with a nice beach and floating dock, it even had toilets (outhouse style, no running water) and a patch of forest for us to camp in.
Sitting by the beach enjoying some pasta, sausage, halloumi and stuff!
This was our campsite for the night, nice view with the sun setting
So this was our first day, more to come later, when ever I can get my self to keep posting!
So it’s that time of the year again, summer is almost over (if you can call what we had summer, it’s +13 in the middle of July).
But I’we had another week long bike trip, this time in Finland, again!
It all started a Tuesday morning in Stockholm, around 04:45 we all got up to go to the Viking Line harbor, I left around 05:15 I think and the bike ride through a fairly empty Stockholm took like 45 minutes.
My bike outside home, packed and ready. and a picture from the line at the Viking check in.
The boat itself was a lot nicer than the other Finland ferries we have taken previously (it’s only two years old so there is that).
Time on the boat was spent as usual, breakfast buffet, shopping, kids playtime and some more food before heading of on the other side, we did get a dinner with a view in the gourmet restaurant to.
View during dinner, a dinner that ended quicker than it should, due to kids obviously..
Right, boat over Finland here we are, and guess the weather, RAIN!
Me at the Finnish side of things, in the Turku Harbor.
I found one of my bike partners, plus my wife and kids fairly quick, and then we headed out to meet up with the last man of the trip.
Me, Siiri, the wife and Sami at the parkingspace outside the harbor.
The rest of the Tuesday was spent getting a couple of beers before bed time (shocker I know).
Day 1 of the trip. Turku to Merimasku.
So day one started around 06:45, getting up and having some light breakfast of eggs, bacon and white bread.
The weather said rain again so we dressed for that, sort of.
We stopped on some bridge for Hannu (not pictured) to take some pictures, it was also close to where Sami studied (Sami has the yellow helmet)
Oh right, this day, with it’s nice rainy weather was supposed to be the parade day, we went through the archipelago, so soon coming up was the first ferry to Nauvo.
By said ferry waiting to get on board and sail to Nauvo.
Hannu, the picture taker, rarely seen on pictures…
From here it was a pretty short trip to the next ferry that would take us to another island, Rymättylä.
Sami and Hannu fixing with the packing, and well, I knew there was something about the boat that said quality, turns out it’s built in Norway!
Lunch on the boat, the cookies was shared between the three of us, I think Sami ate some more though.. add coffee for reasons.
The Ferry to Rymättylä took something like an hour or so stopping at some old asylum/leper colony on the island of Seili.
Today it seems to be full of tourists and things though.. People entering the boat to continue their trip (by bike mostly it seemed) and a side view of the docks at Seili.
Hannu took some better picture(s) of the Seili docks.
One hour boat rides leads to Titanic feelings aparently…
Right, halfway through day one, or at least about, rest of the day was sunny and fairly nice, we had to take one more ferry and we stopped at research station for fish (Sami works for them) to refill water before going up to our destination for the day.
Leaving the boat at Rymättylä, and some scenery shoot by Hannu.
The big boys on the last ferry of the day!
During the day I think Sami got a wee bit broken, he kept on fighting though, some hills still needed to be walked, I’m just posing on a random bridge somewhere…
The end of the day was spent around Merimasku, which had the smallest shop I ever saw, but we got food and drinks, we also checked in to a place called Taattisten Tila, a nice little farm with some camping options and facilities (WC, Shower, Laundry and BBQ).
Sami lit up the wood fuled bbq and we had some sausages and pork pieces on it, also some corn for Hannu.
The dinner of champions, Meat, meat, carbs and carbs, with a dash of fat and a side of alcohol, the other is the old house on the farm that now is a camp.
Our bikes in front of the camp ground, the large tent is mine (ultralight 2 man tent) the other cocoon is where Sami “slept”
Thats it for day one, here is the route of the day.
Well, we woke up fairly early, or several times depending on how you see it, turns out that this camp had animals, lots of them, one thing they had was two roosters, they started crowing around 4 am or so, which was nice..
so anyway, we got six thirty or so, started to pack and clean up camp and prepare for breakfast.
Breakfast being prepared, Pikapuuro (instant porridge) and me standing on the kitchen table sort of..
Another one of the animals, Otto the pig, who came to join us for breakfast, he was mostly after Hannu though (who doesn’t eat meat, guess he smelled his ally or something)
Hannu and the pig Otto, bonding over breakfast!
After breakfast we did the last packing and hit the rough route planned earlier, through Mynämäki, Yläne and then to Huittinen and then from there find some place to camp. Hannu leaving the first days camp ground
The first stop we did as in Mynämäki, we were all slightly hungry again, turns out on portion of pikapuuro is not enough to go on for long…
Parking lot breakfast in Mynämäki.
Refueled and ready to go again we set course for the sprawling metropolis known as Yläne, a place with two stores and at least two places to dine, one of which we actually stopped at, it was a kebab/pizza/grill place of unremembered name..
Lunch at Yläne, pizzas and kebabs all around! mine was huge and I ate only half of it..
After Yläne it was onwards to Huittinen where we got supplies for the nights camp, the last night camping for Sami, so a little extra food and drinks needed!
This was taken after stocking up on food in Huittinen, two one time bbq’s and lots of meat, we are heading towards the end of the day (or looking for it, found it not that far ahead to!
About 15 km north of Huittinen we found a nice spot by the river to set up camp, right outside the centrum of Äetsä, at what looked like some local fisherman/boat club place, it had benches and tables, even a fire pit, perfect for our needs.
Resting in camp before starting the barbecue sessions!
Bacon on a stick, bacon on bread and not pictured was the spare ribs from cow meat!
First and I think only group photo we took, at the camp during the last night, we kept going to around midnight I think, with more beer, cider and snacks!
Day 3 started with me feeling slow and sluggish, horrible night, was really cold, my tent is not warm, my mattress is not insulated at all and I set up my tent on a spot with a slight down hill to one side. but we got going after an hour or so of packing and tidying up our mess, the planned route was basically to avoid the big roads and get to Nokia by going north of Sastamala to Heinoo and then turning of around Ojala, roughly 50-60km of small paved and unpaved roads.
We started off at a normal sluggish speed but before we got even 10 km or so Sami got some mechanical problems..
Me fixing the bike or at least trying, in the end I had to lock the front derailleur on the biggest ring, but Sami didn’t give up!
After the bike was fixed it was a fairly uneventful ride to the next stop Sami had planned at Otamus kahvila (Otamus cafe basicly), that place was closed though, but we ended up having atleast some bread and water there (left overs from last night).
Scenery on the way, a old, really old church and some gas station that has been left to rot in a local place.
Sami and me going down a really nice hill, in the bottom was a river and Otamus cafe where we would stop and eat according to Sami, it was closed though…
This is where we would have had lunch had it been open (we were early)
Less then an hour from Otamus and day three was over, we were at Sami’s childhood home.
End of day three and in Nokia for one bikeless day with the family!